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Colson, Charles Wendell (16 October 1931–21 April 2012), political operative and evangelical leader, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the only child of Wendell Ball Colson, an attorney, and Inez (Dizzy) Ducrow. His father earned a reasonable income, but his mother’s spendthrift behavior often endangered the family’s solvency. Bright and often brash, Chuck, as his friends called him, learned about political intrigue as a volunteer in the Massachusetts governor Robert Bradford’s unsuccessful 1948 campaign for reelection....

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Conboy, Martin (28 August 1878–05 March 1944), U.S. attorney and leading Catholic layman, was born in New York City, the son of Martin Conboy, a government worker and police officer, and Bridget Harlow. A graduate of Gonzaga College in Washington, D.C. (A.B. 1898, A.M. 1899), he simultaneously attended Georgetown Law School at night, earning his LL.B. in 1898 and his LL.M. in 1899. In 1900 Conboy joined the firm of Griggs, Baldwin & Baldwin as a law clerk. Admitted to the New York bar in 1903, he remained with the firm until 1929. In 1912 he married Bertha Letitia Mason, with whom he had four children....

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Dembitz, Lewis Naphtali (03 February 1833–11 March 1907), attorney and activist in public affairs, was born in Zirke, Prussia. His father, Sigmund Dembitz, was a surgeon whose degree from a Prussian university precluded his practicing in Austria, which required an Austrian degree. He, his wife Fanny Wehle, and their three children therefore led a wandering existence throughout other parts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, particularly Poland, while Sigmund unsuccessfully sought a profitable practice in various small towns. The young Dembitz attended schools in Munchenberg, Brandenburg, Frangbord, and Sagan and graduated at age fifteen from the Gymnasium of Glogau University in Frankfort-on-the-Oder. Dembitz’s family did not observe religious rituals. A schoolmate at Glogau introduced him to Orthodox Judaism when Dembitz was thirteen, however, and as an adult he adhered strictly to its tenets and rituals. His one semester of legal studies in Prague was interrupted by the unsuccessful political uprising of 1848. Although neither he nor his family were active participants, they found that the combination of their sympathy for the uprising’s libertarian goals and their Jewishness, assimilated though it was, made life in the Empire uncomfortable. Thirty-five members of the interrelated Wehle, Dembitz, and Brandeis families therefore immigrated to the United States in 1849....

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Elliott, Walter Hackett Robert (06 January 1842–18 April 1928), Roman Catholic priest, lawyer, and missionary, was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Judge Robert T. Elliott and Frances O’Shea. He was educated in Catholic schools in Detroit and at the age of twelve entered the College of Notre Dame in Indiana. He did not graduate, however, choosing instead to study law with U.S. District Attorney Warner M. Bateman in Cincinnati. He was admitted to the bar in 1861. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted in the Fifth Ohio Volunteers of Cincinnati and served until the end of the war....

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Gardiner, Robert Hallowell, III (09 September 1855–15 June 1924), lawyer, social gospeler, and Episcopal ecumenical leader, was born in Fort Tejon, California, the son of Major John William Tudor Gardiner and Anna Elizabeth West Hays. While Gardiner was a child, the family moved to Boston where his father, who suffered from crippling arthritis, was a recruiting officer for the Union armies. Sometime after 1865 the family moved to Montreal, Canada, where Gardiner attended high school. He took an extra year at the Roxbury Latin School from 1871 to 1872 and then distinguished himself at Harvard College. He was appointed Latin orator at his graduation in 1876. Throughout his life, Gardiner maintained a keen interest in languages and spoke French, modern Greek, Italian, German, and ecclesiastical Latin. In 1877 he spent a year as an assistant teacher at Roxbury Latin, where he taught French....

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Hogan, William (?1791–03 January 1848), schismatic Catholic priest and lawyer, was born in Limerick, Ireland. Little is known of Hogan’s parents, education, life, and clerical ministry in Ireland. Some of his published letters from the 1820s give his birthplace as Limerick, but no known Irish records of his parents’ names and occupations exist. Records at St. Patrick’s College in Maynooth, Ireland, indicate that Hogan was enrolled in the school studying humanities in 1811, preparing himself for a theological education and the priesthood....

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Holman, Jesse Lynch (24 October 1784–28 March 1842), lawyer, judge, and Baptist preacher, was born near Danville, Kentucky, the son of Henry Holeman and Jane Gordon, farmers. In 1789 Holman’s father was killed by Indians, which left his large family poverty-stricken. Holman managed nevertheless to attain a common school education and in his late teens read law in the office of ...

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Kane, Thomas Leiper (27 January 1822–26 December 1883), lawyer, soldier, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and defender of the Mormons, was born in Philadelphia, the son of John Kintzing Kane, a jurist, and Jane Duval Leiper. He attended school in Philadelphia and from 1839 to 1844 traveled in England and France, studying and visiting relatives. While in Paris he served for a time as an attaché of the American legation. Small in stature and never robust, he would spend most of his life struggling with ill health. In Paris he met Auguste Comte and others who surely encouraged his social conscience, which would be manifested later in his concern for philanthropic causes. In 1844 Kane returned to Philadelphia, where he studied law with his father. Although he was admitted to the bar in 1846 and clerked briefly for his father, who was a federal judge, his interests and activities generally moved in other directions....

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Kinsey, John (1693–11 May 1750), Quaker politician and lawyer, was born in Philadelphia, the son of John Kinsey, a carpenter, politician, and Quaker minister, and Sarah Stevens. The younger John Kinsey likely attended the Friends Public School until the family moved to Woodbridge, New Jersey, sometime between 1702 and 1704. The older Kinsey placed him with a joiner in New York as an apprentice, but as a friend wrote after Kinsey’s death, “having an Inquisitive disposition, and a Genius for something above his then employ, he left his master before his time was out, & applied himself to the Study of the Law.” He probably studied in Philadelphia with ...

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Kohler, Max James (22 May 1871–24 July 1934), jurist, historian, and Jewish communal worker, was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Kaufmann Kohler and Johanna Einhorn. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Germany, and both his father and grandfather, David Einhorn, were leading rabbis of the Reform Movement in American Judaism. Upon the death of Kohler’s grandfather in 1879, his father assumed Einhorn’s pulpit at New York’s Congregation Beth El, and the family moved to that city. There he grew up in an atmosphere infused with a devotion to both religious values and scholarly pursuits. After completing high school, Kohler attended the College of the City of New York, where he won several important literary prizes. Following his graduation in 1890, he entered Columbia University, from which he received both M.A. (1891) and LL.B. (1893) degrees. He was admitted to the New York State bar in 1893 and became an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, resigning after four years to start a private law practice. In 1906 he married Winifred Lichtenauer, who died in 1922. No children resulted from the marriage....

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Marshall, Louis (14 December 1856–11 September 1929), lawyer and Jewish communal leader, was born in Syracuse, New York, the son of Jacob Marshall and Zilli Strauss, poor German-Jewish immigrants. His father, at first a porter and peddler, ended up in the hide and leather business. A graduate of Syracuse High School, Marshall read law for two years in a local law office. In 1876 he left to attend Columbia University Law School in New York City, where he completed the two-year curriculum in one year. Admitted to the bar on 1 January 1878, he joined the Syracuse law firm headed by William C. Ruger, later chief judge of New York State. In 1894 he returned to New York City at the invitation of his classmate ...

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McGrady, Thomas (16 June 1863–26 November 1907), Catholic socialist priest and lawyer, was born in Lexington, Kentucky, the son of Hugh McGrady, a tenant farmer and day laborer, and Alicia (maiden name unknown). McGrady’s parents were refugees from the Irish famine who had emigrated to Kentucky in the late 1840s. In 1907 McGrady acknowledged the seething effect that stories of the famine had had on him: “Coming from a race that had been oppressed for generations in the old world, I have learned to hate injustice and oppression with a deathless hatred.” McGrady received his early education in St. Paul’s parish school in Lexington. Where he received his seminary education remains in doubt, but more than likely he went to St. Aloysius Seminary near Columbus, Ohio, where Nicholas Aloysius Gallagher (1846–1918) had been rector from 1871 to 1876. In 1887, after his seminary education, he was ordained a priest by Gallagher, who had become a bishop and the administrator of Galveston, Texas, in 1882. From 1887 to 1891 McGrady served parishes in Galveston, Houston, and Dallas. In 1891, because of poor health, he requested a transfer to his native diocese of Covington, Kentucky, where he became pastor of St. Paul’s in Lexington (1891), St. Edward’s in Cynthiana (1891–1895), and St. Anthony’s in Bellevue (1895–1902)....

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Monsky, Henry (04 February 1890–02 May 1947), lawyer and Jewish communal leader, was born in Omaha, Nebraska, the son of Abraham Monsky, a fish dealer, and Betsy Perisnev Greenblatt, both of whom had been born in Poland. Monsky was raised in an Orthodox Jewish home; his father was a cantor and was active in synagogue and Jewish communal activities. After graduating from Central High School in 1907, he entered Creighton College of Law as a night student in 1909. There he demonstrated leadership and oratorical skills and in 1911 was president of the Omaha Hebrew Club, a group that had been founded by his father in 1892. He earned his law degree in 1912 and embarked on a corporate practice. He married Sadie Lesser in 1915; they had three children....

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Pauli Murray Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-109644).

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Murray, Pauli (20 November 1910–01 July 1985), lawyer, writer, and minister, was born Anna Pauline Murray in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of William Henry Murray, a public school teacher, and Agnes Fitzgerald, a nurse. Triracial, she had African, European, and Native American ancestry. Her parents both died when she was a child (her mother had a cerebral hemorrhage in March 1914; her father was murdered in a state hospital in June 1923), and she grew up from age three in North Carolina with her maternal grandparents and her mother’s oldest sister, Pauline Fitzgerald Dame, a public school teacher who adopted her....

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Peabody, Oliver William Bourn (09 July 1799–05 July 1848), lawyer, editor, and Unitarian clergyman, was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, the son of Oliver Peabody, a jurist, politician, and trustee of Phillips Exeter Academy, and Frances Bourn. Oliver had an identical twin brother, William Oliver Bourn Peabody, who achieved prominence as a Unitarian clergyman and miscellaneous author. The twins were nearly identical not only in their names but also in their handwriting, physical appearance, voice, and manner, and they remained in close contact throughout their lives....

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Albert Pike. Photoprint, c. 1886. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-100590).

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Pike, Albert (29 December 1809–02 April 1891), lawyer, soldier, and Masonic scholar, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Benjamin Pike, a cobbler, and Sarah Andrews. The boy was torn between his father, whose irreverence and drinking scandalized neighbors, and his mother, who read the Bible to her only son daily and planned on his entering the ministry. In 1813, seeking to supplement his income by farming, Benjamin Pike moved the family to Newburyport, Massachusetts. In 1825 Albert was sent to live with his uncle, a teacher at Framingham Academy, who soon learned that Pike had a prodigious memory that enabled him to digest large volumes and recall their contents at will; the boy learned Hebrew, Latin, and Greek almost effortlessly. Eight months after his arrival in Framingham, Pike passed the entrance examination for Harvard College. He could not afford the tuition, however, so, instead of enrolling at Harvard, he taught common school at Gloucester. The following year Harvard agreed to admit him as a junior, but school officials insisted that he pay the first two years’ tuition. Outraged, Pike abandoned his dreams of a formal education....

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Rutherford, Joseph Franklin (08 November 1869–08 January 1942), lawyer and religious leader, was born in Morgan County, Missouri, the son of James Calvin Rutherford and Lenore Strickland, farmers. Experiencing both near poverty and hard work, Rutherford came to value education. He borrowed money and went away to school, where he learned shorthand. After studying law under Judge E. L. Edwards and serving as the official reporter of the Court of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit of Missouri, he passed the Missouri state bar examination in 1892. Beginning private law practice in Booneville, Missouri, he soon joined the firm of Draffen and White. While practicing law he served four times as a special judge in the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court; this experience was the basis for the title “Judge” given to him later by many of his followers. In 1896 he campaigned for ...

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Slattery, John Richard (16 July 1851–06 March 1926), priest and attorney, was born in New York City, the son of James Slattery, a contractor, and Margaret Sbreel, Irish immigrants. His father rose from laborer to entrepreneur during the 1860s in partnership with his brothers Patrick and John. Their construction business depended heavily on municipal contracts for roads and parks and hence on political patronage. The Slatterys invested their contracting profits in real estate. They attended St. Paul’s parish at Fifty-ninth Street and Ninth Avenue, where John made the acquaintance of ...